I was reading an article at lunch interviewing Sherman Alexie, the title of which was “The Poem That Made Sherman Alexie Want to ‘Drop Everything and Be a Poet’.”
I’ve had a healthy respect for Sherman Alexie since reading one of his books in a Multicultural American Lit class in college, but the subject got me thinking.
And automatically, without any forethought or second guessing, I knew what my answer would be if anyone ever asked me which poem made me want to drop everything and be a poet.
I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,
You’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed:
our friend the poet comes into my room
where I’ve been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,
and wake. You’ve kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone…
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carries the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.
~ Adrienne Rich, 21 Love Poems
Since forever. And always.